How to Make an Alcoholic Cannabis Drink with Decarbed Weed
This Cold-Busting Weed Elixir, with honey and vodka, will set you straight in no time.
To make a functioning edible you need decarboxylated cannabis, which is a very un-sexy way to say cannabis that’s been pre-heated to activate all the psychoactive properties. The THC in your stuff won’t do shit for you in a brownie or butter unless you decarb it. But once it’s decarbed—go wild.
Or, instead of going wild, calm down with a cannabis drink. This one comes courtesy of L.A. journalist Michelle Lhooq, whose new book Weed: Everything You Want to Know But Are Always Too Stoned to Ask covers everything from blunts, bongs, and dabs to high dining and DIY cannabis cultivation. (Yes, it comes out on 4/20.) Lhooq’s drink recipe is for a Cold-Busting Weed Elixir with vodka and cannabis.
As Lhooq says, dispensaries don’t mix alcohol with cannabis to avoid cross-fading (and a lot of government regulations), but it’s not unheard of to make weed drinks. “In recent years, their popularity has started to take off, thanks to the collective realization that drinking cannabis gets you stoned faster than eating it does,” she writes. And with this recipe, plus instructions on how to decarb your weed, you can experiment at home. So cure what ails you—be it allergies, bad weather, or Game of Thrones anxiety—with a hot, honeyed tonic with just enough weed and vodka to set you right. But, you know, exercise caution.
With this recipe for a Cold-Busting Weed Elixir, with decarbed cannabis, vodka, and honey, lets you experiment with weed drinks at home.
Cannabis Drinks And How To Make Them
Sipping on cannabis-infused beverages can quickly become a fun alternative to vaping or smoking when you have the right recipes on hand. Not only are they a fun way to consume the plant, but cannabis drinks are also generally seen as a healthier alternative to smoking. In fact, in some states where marijuana has become partially legalized, such as Florida, smokeable variations of the plant are still not legal.
The following drink ideas will provide a range of different effects due to their strengths and levels of THC, CBD, or both. Depending on how the cannabis was infused into the beverage, it can pack a different sort of punch than smoking or even eating normal edibles. Let’s dive in to a few different ways you can infuse the beneficial plant into drinks and provide a range of healthy cannabis drink ideas from it.
Decide on a Base
The base you use as a vessel for your cannabis infusion will play a role in how potent the beverage is going to be and what you’re primarily going to be using it for. For example, you may need two or three tablespoons of cannabis-infused milk, while you would only need a few drops of cannabis-infused alcohol to do the same job. While the strain of marijuana you use also has a role in how potent your beverage is going to be, the base you decide on is absolutely a key player. Fortunately, we’ve got suggestions.
Brew a Tincture
Large quantities of alcohol are obviously not recommended on the side of health but using a tincture as a base to either drop under your tongue or cut with a beverage is certainly a better alternative to eating edibles packed with sugar to get the same effect.
Plus, while edibles take 1 to 2 hours to kick in, the effects from a tincture can be felt within 15 minutes, making sublingual dosing (placing drops under the tongue) an option for easy medical use. A 750 ml bottle of liquor can be infused with less than 4 grams of cannabis to create a tincture that can last even frequent cannabis consumers months.
Canna-Oil and Canna-Butter
Using a 1:1 ratio, you can generally make a decent amount of canna-oil or canna-butter and spend less than 8 hours on the project. Though coconut oil is recommended, keep in mind that both butter and oils will still have a certain amount of saturated fat. This isn’t a recommended option for someone who’s key focus is health, as there are safer alternatives further in our list.
One cup of coconut oil or butter for every one cup of activated ground cannabis can simmer in a pot or a slow cooker on low heat for 6 to 8 hours makes a fatty base that can go in sweets, savory dishes, and be infused into various beverages alike.
To enhance your coffees, teas, sauces, and other drinks that can use a tablespoon or two of cream (or more!), cannabis-infused milk is the base for you. One of the most marijuana-conscious methods, you only need half a gram to one gram for every quart of (preferably whole) milk. You want whole milk because cannabis is naturally fat-soluble. This means that the fattier the content of the base you’re using to extract the cannabis with, the fuller the effect of THC and CBD will be.
Combining around a gram of activated, ground cannabis for every quart of milk, simmer the two ingredients together for a few hours, stirring every few minutes to truly activate the compounds within the plant. Finish off by straining with a cheesecloth, just like you would with the previous methods.
Turning the Bases into Beverages
Once you’ve decided on what you feel is the right base to act as your cannabis vessel, it’s time to start infusing. You can keep the base separate and make different drinks until you use up the base in sections, or you can prep the whole drink ahead of time to allow it to steep, which makes it richer in flavor and texture.
It’s completely up to you to decide how and when you’d like to prepare the main beverage, though most prefer to keep the base separate until it’s time to infuse that day in order to keep the flavors separated. This is because cannabis has a strong flavor that will steep and become pungent – it all comes down to preference on your end.
For a low-carb, cannabis-packed morning routine, you can add a tablespoon or two of canna-oil to a mug of black coffee and drink up. Black coffee mixed with coconut oil is coined “bulletproof coffee,” meant to replace cream and sugar and thought to provide stabilized gut health, weight loss, increased strength and mood, and more. Using canna-oil in your morning coffee can further enhance your mood, supercharge your day, and help you take on whatever task you need done.
Coffee or Tea
Likewise, if you’re not worried about carbs, you can cut your morning tea or coffee with some cannabis-infused milk to really liven up the day. You can add in honey or sugar to sweeten the deal for this beverage, but this is an excellent way to try out cannabis-infused milk to really see if it’s something that’s worth doing for you.
If you’re trying to avoid fats like milk and oil, you can try out the cannabis-infused alcohol tincture method we mentioned earlier through one of two ways. The first way, as previously mentioned, is to place drops of the tincture under your tongue. However, it can also be combined in a blender with freshly squeezed lemon juice, water, and honey or sugar to craft a cannabis lemonade that’s equal parts sweet, tart, and dank.
Use about two tablespoons of cannabis tincture for every ¼ cup of lemon juice, along with 1 ¾ cups water and 1/3 cup of sugar or natural honey. You can even go the extra mile, if you want further flavor definition, and slice up some strawberries to go along with the beverage. Strawberry lemonade is a refreshing beverage that can be infused to provide a medicinal, relaxing effect for the whole day.
What is your favorite cannabis-infused beverage flavor combination? Do you prefer cannabis drinks in the morning, afternoon, or evening? Hopefully these ideas will help you create your very own cannabis drink idea, propelling past ordinary edibles forever more. The possibilities are only limited to your imagination.
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